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WTO DG: US Opposes Okonjo-Iweala’s Choice, Backs South Korean For Position, Final Decision To Be Announced November 9



Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

The United States of America has opposed the candidacy of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as head of the World Trade Organisation, instead backing South Korea’s Trade Minister, Yoo Myung-hee, for the position of Director-General, Sahara Reporters says.

The so-called troika of ambassadors heading the World Trade Organisation’s three main branches determined after four months of consultations with member states that Okonjo-Iweala was the most likely to obtain the consensus needed to take the top job, WTO spokesperson, Keith Rockwell, told journalists.

The initial pool of eight candidates for the WTO’s top post had been whittled down to just two over two previous rounds of consultations with only Okonjo-Iweala and Myung-hee left in the race, AFP reports.

On Wednesday, America said it was opposed to her taking the helm, casting doubt on whether she can obtain the necessary full backing from member states.

Rockwell said that 27 delegates had taken the floor during Wednesday’s meeting.

He added that, “One delegation could not support the candidacy of Dr Nogzi and said they would continue (supporting) South Korean Minister Yoo.

“That delegation was the United States of America.”

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He stressed that Wednesday’s meeting “was never intended to make a final decision on our next DG (director-general).

“That decision can only be taken by the General Council.”

“The candidate that had the best chance of attaining a consensus of the membership is Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria. Consultations on the way foward will start immediately.”

The final decision of the WTO’s 164 member states is expected on November 9.


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